Manager praises players after big win

Saints boss Tommy Wright praised his players and his departing striker Steven MacLean, after Saturday’s fantastic 5-1 victory against Motherwell at Fir Park.

The players produced arguably their best performance of the season to blow away the home side and keep the race to finish in 7th place alive. Goals from Steven Anderson and David McMillan, as well as a stunning Steven MacLean hat-trick in his final game for the club, gave Saints a thumping win in a match expected by many to have been much closer.

“It was probably as good a performance as any team has produced away from home this season,” Tommy said, “and the quality of the goals was excellent as well.

“Looking at the first goal, it starts from Zander throwing the ball out from the back and I think we make fifteen passes before scoring. That was just one of many moments of quality we showed throughout the game and there were so many positives to take from the performance.

“At times this season, we’ve lacked the cutting edge and quality in the final third despite having the better of the possession in matches. On Saturday, everything came together and we clicked and it showed just how good a side we can be.

“It was the perfect send-off for Macca and I’m so pleased for him. I wanted him to do well in his last game for the club and he certainly did that.

“I was also delighted that when we took Steven off and brought on David McMillan he also managed to get on the scoresheet. It’s great to have him available and I was really pleased he grabbed himself a goal.

“Young Ali McCann also did very well when he came on as well. He looked matured, strong, and was confident on the ball. He showed that even at 18-years-old, he’s ready to be pushing for more involvement in the first-team next season.”

Speaking further about McMillan’s first goal for the club, Tommy added: “He’s had a difficult start to life at the club after picking up an injury in his first game but he’s a big signing for us and I’ve no doubt he’ll have a big part to play next season when he’s fully match fit.

“He’s already shown glimpses of the qualities that he has. He’s good in the air, has great movement and he links the ball up well.

“Most importantly though, he’s got a great goal scoring ratio. It’s a step-up for him but I know he can do it and I think on Saturday he proved that. The cross was superb from Richard Foster but the movement and finish from David was excellent.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s clash with relegation-threatened Hamilton Accies, Tommy is expecting a difficult game as Martin Canning’s side scrap for Scottish Premiership survival.

“I want to finish with two wins,” Tommy said, “and the players want to finish with two wins as well. That’s the objective.

“Tomorrow will be a different game from Saturday and we’re coming up against a side scrapping to maintain their Premiership status. They have a lot of experience of these types of games and I have no doubt they’ll give us a difficult match.

“I’m confident we have the quality to outplay them and win the game. I don’t envisage there being too many changes from Saturday’s squad. Obviously, Steven isn’t available so David McMillan will start up front and it looks like Callum Hendry will have recovered from food poisoning to be in contention.”

Tomorrow’s match at New Douglas Park is a 7:45PM kick-off. Accies have pegged admission prices for the match at £5 for adults and £1 for U18s.